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PhD Requirements

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Dr. Kristin DeGhetaldi (PSP 2016) collaborating with Zachary Voras, doctoral student in chemistry​.


​Graduation Requirements

Written Qualifying Examination

After 18 credits of course work have been graded, the student must pass a written qualifying examination in the areas of concentration, supervised by senior faculty from the appropriate departments. The scope and content of the examination will be determined by the presumptive dissertation committee chair and the PSP director in consultation with members of the committee and/or professors of courses the student has completed for the concentration requirement. The qualifying examination must be passed before the student proceeds to candidacy.

The qualifying exam is to be scheduled no sooner than the end of the semester following the completion of required coursework. Each section of the exam must be passed in order for the examination to be considered a “pass.” For instance, if there is a section on anthropology and a section on chemistry, each section must receive a grade of 80% or above.

Should the student fail the qualifying examination, the student will be given an opportunity to retake the exam. Even if only one section is failed, all sections will need to be re-tested. The second attempt to pass the examination must normally be made no earlier than the end of the following semester after the first attempt to pass the examination and no later than a year after the first attempt to pass the examination. If the student wishes to retake the examination sooner or later than the specified intervals, the program director can be petitioned accordingly. Failure to pass the examination on the second attempt will normally result in termination from the program effective at the end of that term. However, the student can petition for one final retake. The student may also elect to withdraw from the program. Since this is an interdisciplinary program, it is possible that some coursework credits could be transferred to another department if the student is accepted into a doctoral program in that department.

Advancement to Candidacy

A student can be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. after completing all required course work, passing the written examination, fulfilling the residency requirement, and once their dissertation proposal has been accepted by the committee. Once advanced to candidacy, students must register for at least 9 credits of Ph.D. dissertation credit (969) usually while conducting dissertation research full time. Subsequently, candidates are required to register for Ph.D. sustaining credit (U999) each semester. This is not a full-time registration but only a registration to ensure that the student is active until degree requirements are met. 


The dissertation is expected to reflect the results of original and high-quality research of significance to preservation studies, written in a scholarly and literary manner worthy of publication. The dissertation is the focal point of this research-oriented degree, and thus the majority of a student's time will be spent on this component of the degree requirements. Three of the five or more chapters could be considered publishable separately, if appropriate. 

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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489